As part of the research for Windows on the World I was interested in the work of Tessa Traeger a still life photographer extraordinaire.
Biography (from TessaTraeger.com )
“Tessa Traeger is one of the outstanding still-life photographers of her generation and is widely acknowledged as having raised the subject of photographic, food still-life to the status of art. Trained at Guildford School of Photography and Fine Art, Tessa Traeger has worked at Rossetti Studios in Chelsea, London since the 1960s.
As an artist, she is especially known for her still-life photographs taken on large format cameras many of which were published during her long association with British Vogue. Inspired by some of her illustrious predecessors, Tessa Traeger has sought to balance the demands and developments of both commissioned and experimental work.
She has worked with all the major advertising agencies in London and Europe. Her clients include Jasper Conran, Harvey Nichols, Wedgewood, Waterford, Persil, BAA, Dolmio, Jordans, Kenco, Kellogs, Heinz, Uncle Ben’s, Sainsbury’s, Warburtons, Batchelors, OXO, Chivas Regal, Haig Whisky, Glenfiddich Whisky and Whirlpool. She has exhibited regularly since 1978 in Paris, London and New York as well as participating in many group shows. Her work is represented in the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Bibliotheque National in Paris, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Citibank collection in London.
In 2003 she worked on a commission from the National Portrait Gallery to photograph the leading British horticulturists of the day and their inspirational gardens, which resulted in 50 portraits being acceded to the National Collection, an acclaimed exhibition at the N.P.G. and a book, A Gardeners’s Labyrinth, written by Patrick Kinmonth and published by Edward Booth-Clibborn Editions in English, German and Dutch. Over the last fifteen years she has been working in the mountainous Ardeche region of Southern France to record and celebrate the life of the people who live there and the food they produce. This project culminated in an artist’s book of the work, entitled ‘Voices of the Vivarais’ which supported her solo exhibition at the Purdy Hicks Gallery in June 2010. The book was winner of the Photographic Book Prize in the British Book Design and Production Awards 2010, and is available from the studio. ”
A feature of this latter book is a series of photographs of peoples hands holding food / flowers they have grown themselves. Some sample images from that series are here – the image below is my own version of a Traeger inspired image, featuring my brother – a keen vegetable gardener – which will form part of a series of images – called Home Grown – which will be the final project output.
Click here to go the final set of Home Grown images.